Working Group “Health Before All” on the Ongoing Protests Against Chemours

PAPENDRECHT / SLIEDRECHT / DORDRECHT – Every week the working group “Health Above All” meets in front of the chemical company Chemours in Dordrecht. In protest of the pollution, they dumped a number of buckets of contaminated soil in front of their site for years. This will be the 100th time on Saturday, March 5th. Kees van der Heel, Ton Schippers, Jupp Kismat and Karel Thiem from the working group explain their actions.

This club has been operating for several years to further highlight the Chemours/Dupont problem. The group is deeply concerned about soil and tap water contamination caused by toxic PFAS discharges from Chemours.

Kees van der Hill: “We find it unrealistic to be engulfed in all kinds of harmful substances by air and water. We should be able to safely consume our vegetables, fruits and tap water without jeopardizing our health.”

Return to sender
You could also call what the group does the weekly promotion “Back to Sender,” says Ton Schippers. They obtain contaminated soil from Sledrecht, which they then “smooth” with a bottle of contaminated tap water from Papendrecht and scatter it in front of the Kemur Gate.

Jupp Kismat says: “We have deliberately chosen a smaller campaign, but it is a repetitive one. The strength is in repetition. Through replays, more and more attention has been drawn to this issue over the years.”

Chemicals build up
Caryl Tim: “We’re not just talking about little chemicals, but we’re talking about permanent toxic chemicals. You have to check that you’re burdening your offspring with this.”

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Job Cases: PFAS builds up in your body, affecting your immune system. This results in weaker resistance, which is a public health problem. We found that over the past 25 years, cancer deaths in Slydrecht have increased by about 16%.

The danger is invisible
Karel Thieme: “In Tata Steel, you see pollution and danger more clearly because it leaves behind a color in their environment. In our environment this is missing in the Chemours traces.

Many people think that if you do not see it, it is not there, but unfortunately this method does not work. The message to Chemours is: We will continue! We will continue until there is no more pollution.”

There is an impression that the working group wants the company to disappear completely. “Of course this is not true, the goal is to stop pollution, devise an environmentally friendly method and achieve a safe living environment for the next generation. †

This Saturday, March 5, at 10:30 a.m., it will be the 100th time the group has littered buckets with contaminated soil, so expect a huge turnout. This week’s paperback edition of Het Kontakt included a full-page ad advertising the campaign. The working group will continue undisturbed in 2022.

Megan Vasquez

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